Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #1)
Published January 5, 2016 by TOR Teen, 451 pp.
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.
Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.
Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.
Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
How goes it?
You know what, reading the summary again, I can’t remember why I put this on my to-read list or why I bought this, because at first glance it isn’t really… attention-grabbing. But I had a hunch this would be good, and it was on point. Score for Nina, yay.
I read this over a course of 2 days, because after the first time Safi and Iseult were separated, I didn’t know how I’d deal if this was to be a prolonged situation. Yes. That is me: I get attached to fictional characters and I get emotionally invested.
Question: How many bombs can one book drop? Answer: I don’t know. In Truthwitch’s case I had barely moved on when it drops another (I don’t do well with surprises, can you tell). This was a long-ish book, just a bit over 400 pages, but you won’t feel it’s long because every page, every chapter sees something happening. There is a lot you can love about this book – the characters, the budding romance, the plot and story, or just for the action. I think Truthwitch is a great showcase of the author’s skill that she managed to combine all that, and not let one overpower the other. This, along with the multiple POVs that weren’t jarring whenever they shifted, is why Truthwitch is easily already one of my favorites of 2016.
The characters in this book are also some of the most interesting and complex I’ve ever read. I’m not one to wax poetic about complexity, but everyone here, from Safi and Iseult, to Merik and the Bloodwitch (even Evrane), I want to read more, know more about. Which does not bode well for me and my feelings, seeing as the next installment is at 2017, and apparently Miss Dennard has no qualms about killing off characters.
What I loved best about this is Safiya and Iseult’s relationship. Rock steady amidst chaos, it’s one of my favorite book relationships. Ever. And that is saying something since Merik and Safiya figuring each other out in this book is making me feel so, so hopeful as to how their relationship will develop. Iseult said it best when it could go either way – love or hate – with Safi and Merik.
Threadwitch is a solid foundation and start for a great series. Awesome world building, characters you need to know more about, and already this has you itching for the next in the series (and with the title “Windwitch” I think it’s a safe bet the next book will focus a bit more on Merik).
5 paper planes (work with me, I’m coordinating with my theme of page or plane, haha) for Truthwitch, with its awesome cast, action at every turn, and a story that keeps you flipping pages!